Visual Studio (v2010/v2012) – Designing SQL Server Report Server Reports

Introduction

As always this is one born out of frustrations. I need to make changes to quite a few of Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services Reports (v2008).

Our current Microsoft Studio development environment is 2010 and so I launch that GUI, but I am not able to create a new Report Server Project.

I thus went back and started Visual Studio 2008 and I am able to create new Report Server project from VS 2008.

But, one big caveat for me!

No matter what I try, once I start on a new Project the Report Server files (RDL) are copied unto a folder underneath the new Project.

This is going to cause problems for me as we have a strict folder hierarchy mapping that is already in place and under Team Foundation Services (RDL) armor-ship.

And, so if use VS 2008, I have to keep copying files from my working folder to the actual Project\TFS folders.

Too much hapless work; especially the way I am feeling these days!

Problem Discussion

Here is what I see when I try to link to an existing file in VS 2008 and VS 2010:

AddExistingItem-VS2010

 

Here is what I see when I try to link to an existing file in VS 2012:

AddExistingItem-VS2012

Please keep in mind that there is an arrow right by the “Add” button.  If you click on that Arrow, you will be able to see and activate the Link option.

With the Link option, I am to keep\preserve my strict folder placements.

Download & Install SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)

Goggled for help and told to try SQL Server Data Tools.

Get Download Link for SQL Server Data Tools (VS 2010) Integration

SQL Server Data Tools is available @ http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/jj650014.  Please choose to download the full blown ISO Image.

BTW, SSDT for VS 2012 is available @ http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/jj650015

Installation

Installation is quite straightforward.

Validation

Let us validate inside Visual Studio 2012.

In Visual Studio 2012, a new Template Option for SQL Server Data Project is present, but nothing per SQL Server Reports.

More Goggling

More goggling led me to Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012.

Download SSDT – Business Intelligence for VS 2012

Downloaded and SSDT for VS 2012 from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36843.

Install – Business Intelligence for VS 2012

Media

Interestingly enough VS 2012 is bundled as an executable, I was looking forward to having to mount another ISO or burning the ISO unto a DVD.

Install

Here are some of the install screen shots:

Product Updates – SQL Server 2012 – SP1

Yes, chose that it is OK to apply SP1 to my local SQL Server 2012.

ProductUpdates

Installation Type – Add Features

I am really not gunning for a new install, just update my existing install.

InstallationTypeExisting


Features Selection

Yes, I want “SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio”

FeaturesSelection

Installation Configuration Rules (Blow-up)

InstallationConfigurationRules

I got the error message pasted above:

Rule “Same architecture installation” failed.

The CPU architecture of installation feature(s) is different than the instance specified. To continue, add features to this instance with the same architecture.
And, I am thinking how to get over this hump.  Yes, my machine is 64-bit.  But, there is only one installation file and there was nothing stating that bitness specific.

Thanks Goodness for Google as it proved useful.

The right search tags led me to Graham Lannigan’s blog:
Installing SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2013
http://picnicerror.net/development/sql-server/installing-sql-server-data-tools-business-intelligence-for-visual-studio-2013-03-13/
And, his suggestion is that I should navigate back to the Installation Type page and choose to “Perform a new Installation of SQL Server 2012“.

 

InstallationTypeNewInsallation

Did so and everything installed properly the 2nd time around.  Makes me go back and remember Shalamar – Second Time Around.

Install Completed

Complete
Restart Computer?

Prompted to restart computer, but I happily said NO.

Validation (2nd)

Let us validate inside Visual Studio 2012.

In Visual Studio 2012, we now have Template Options for “Business Intelligence”.  We have Templates for Report Server, Integration Services, and Analysis Services.

BusinessIntelligence

Confirm Target Choices

As I said earlier, I really can not afford to break the build.  Whatever I do on my machine is OK, in as much as I do not break the reports; they need to be backward compatible.

Project Settings

In Visual Studio 2012, once I have chosen to create a new project let us ensure that we can “target” SQL Server 2008 R2.

Thankfully the Report (RDL) files themselves are XML, but I need to get a bit of sureness that not much changed between 2008 R2 and 2012.

ProjectProperty

The return TargetServerVersion options are:

  • SQL Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2008R2 and later
  • Detect version

My read is that indeed there were changes between 2008 and 2008R2.  But, 2008R2 and 2012 stayed same.

Summary

There are a couple of items still outstanding.

  • What path shall I take to be able to work on Reports in VS 2010

I know I could have avoided most of this problem by going with SQL Server Standard Edition, but license terms for Developers are a bit mucky for me at this time.

Thanks Microsoft for SSDT.  But, honestly the Setup and QA team could and should have done a better job cleaning up the verbiage for installing SSDT.

What does perform a “New install of SQL Server 2012” mean when we are simply trying to add a feature to Visual Studio?

Commendation

One good thing about writing is that you can not but give credits.  In real life it is so easy not to say Thank you.

Anyone can copy someone else’s web page and write it down as theirs.  But, if you take the time to read Graham Lannigan’s blog post @ http://picnicerror.net/development/sql-server/installing-sql-server-data-tools-business-intelligence-for-visual-studio-2013-03-13/ you will quickly see that he cares about his work and takes time to jot down each step.

He says I took that fake and stumbled a bit for it.  Almost, like a Jordan fake that ends up on Sportscenter or these days YouTube.  And, this is why I did so and why you shouldn’t…

And, that is what learning and sharing is all about!

References

References – Installation

References – Visual Studio Templates

References – Presentations

2 thoughts on “Visual Studio (v2010/v2012) – Designing SQL Server Report Server Reports

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